Most wasps die in the winter due to starvation, not the cold, as was previously thought. Some can survive if food can be found outside the nest.
In the fall, most worker wasps die. The workers are male wasps, and before they die, they impregnate the queens. The queens then look for a warm place to stay through the winter. Cold winters are good for queens because warm winters bring them out of hibernation early, when there is not enough food available outside of the hive. In the spring, the queens leave to build nests, where they lay eggs to make new colonies.